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The Origin of Feces

Brass Tacks

By Robert A. Katz

WHILE WALKING IN the Yard yesterday, I decided to put my foot down.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning off my shoe.

With spring upon us, Harvardians have taken to romping around the Yard carefree. Many, unfortunately, have encountered not just dew on the grass--but dew-doo.

It's not that students have regressed in their personal habits. Rather, their canine friends--with whom they share the green--never developed any. It's one of the less pleasant aspects of the Harvard experience.

Is the situation hopeless? Perhaps not. In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act--commonly known as the "Superfund" law. Under this law, the Environmental Protection Agency disposes of hazardous waste with funds collected from those who were responsible, namely, the producers of chemicals.

I believe that the example of the "Superfund" law can help us solve the problems created by our own peculiar producers of hazardous waste. (If you don't believe the situation is hazardous, try playing frisbee by Widener in white sneakers.)

Both economic efficiency and simple fairness demand that the damages inflicted by canines--now borne solely by Yard pedestrians--be reassigned to the dog owners. I propose that those who operate these compact waste factories incur the full costs of their activity by contributing to a University "Superfund." With this money, Harvard could hire clean-up crews, as well as reimburse students for dry cleaning bills, shoe shines, and Lysol.

Perhaps owners should contribute a fee to this proposed fund proportional to the weight of their pets. Toy poodles simply don't merit the same costs as great danes.

Whatever the specifics of the "Superfund"--or perhaps "Pooperfund"--we must act quickly to stop those who step in it from being stepped on.

Let's face it, it's a gross injustice.

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